Commentary

This morning’s ‘must read’ editorial on the Cleveland convention

Be sure to take a couple of minutes this morning to check out the lead editorial in the Fayetteville Observer for a powerful take on the nation’s recent spate of race-related violence and distinctly unhelpful tone emanating from the Republican convention in Cleveland. After alluding to the recent shootings in the U.S. and France and the stress it has place on all of us, the authors put it this way:

“In Cleveland on Monday, we saw too much demagoguery and not enough calming. The astonishing low point at the Republican National Convention’s opening session was delivered in an address by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who warned the crowd that, ‘There’s no next election. This is it!’ Unfortunately, the one-time presidential candidate never disclosed what form the coming apocalypse will take.

But it was the theme of the evening – ‘Make America Safe Again’ – that deserves careful fact-checking. As unsettling as the past few weeks have been, America remains safe. Crime rates across the country are down, as they are here in Fayetteville. Yes, we can still be safer, and we want to be, but as police departments here and in many other cities have adopted community-policing strategies and violence de-escalation tactics, we have less to fear, not more.

What we really need is leadership that won’t ask us to huddle together in fear, but rather encourage us to support each other, and our peacekeepers, and move confidently toward our challenges.

We’re especially troubled to see hateful bigots in our midst trying to ramp up white people’s fears of African-Americans. In the past few days, people who claim to represent the Loyal White Knights of the KKK have been in several neighborhoods, dropping plastic bags that contain fliers using racial epithets and small rocks that recipients are urged to throw at African-Americans. The bags have been found in yards in Gray’s Creek, Massey Hill, Hollywood Heights and Bonanza Drive, according to the police and Sheriff’s Office.

The White Knights are a Christian white supremacist and anti-Semitic organization. We hope they’ll crawl back under their rock and stay there – we don’t want or need their hate here.

What we saw in Dallas and Baton Rouge was domestic terrorism, fueled by blind hatred. Let’s remember that it infects very few of us, and that the best remedy is for all of us to stand tall, together, and never give in to fear.”

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Crucial Conversation – Prof. Peter Edelman discusses his new book, Not a Crime to be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

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